The Muslim world is not up there with the glamour nations llike China, Russia and the USA in medal tallies, but it has its share of inspirations. For as much as sports is becoming more and more commercialised now, here are a few Muslims whom Mudpie believes are inspirational stories in themselves.
Two women athletes from the Arab world, who stand strong and free in the face of other veiled, cloistered ones.
A swimmer who had clocked faster than Phelps, from an Arab desert nation. He was suspended for amphetamine use, and had his world championships stripped in disgrace. However, he did not retire in ignominy, but came back after the suspension and proved that he was great even without the drugs. That took courage and determination.
An Iranian fighter from the earthquake city of Bam who sold his medals to charity for eathquake victims.
The least we could do is know who they are.
Hadi Saei Bonehkohal Bostan Abad (Persian: هادی ساعی بونه كُهل} , born June 10, 1976 ) is an Iranian Taekwondo athlete who became the most successful iranian athlete in Olympic history after snatching gold in the 2008 Summer Olympics. He competed in the Men's 68 kg (featherweight) at the 2004 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal. In addition, He competed in the Men's 80 kg at the 2008 Summer Olympics and won his second olympic gold. In the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney he won bronze.
|Competitor for Iran|
|Bronze||2000 Sydney||68 kg|
|Gold||2004 Athens||68 kg|
|Gold||2008 Beijing||80 kg|
In the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, Saei's gold medal was really important for all Iranian athletes who participated in this year's Olympic games. Saei was the last Iranian athlete to compete. Iran's hope to avoid its worst Olympics showings was resting on Saei's shoulders. By winning his gold medal, Saei ensured that Iran was leaving Beijing with a better result than their poor showing at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, where they bagged only one bronze medal. Full results of Iran's medals in the history of the Summer Olympic games can be found in the 'Medal tables' in Iran at the Olympics.
He was born in Tehran, Iran. He has been practicing Tae Kwon Do since he was six years old. Having previously competed in Lightweight (67-72 kg), he is the 1999 World Champion and 2003 World Championship silver medallist. When Iranian town of Bam, Iran was devastated in the 2003 earthquake, Saei put his medals on auction to raise money for the victims.
He has been World Champion in the Tae Kwon Do World Championships 7 times and was recently awarded the title of 'Best Tae Kwon Do Player of all Time' by the International Board. Currently, he is a senior at the Iran Physical Education University.
He has suffered great personal tragedy, having lost his brother and father in the same year, and the death of his younger brother, who succumbed to cancer the following year.
|Competitor for Morocco|
|Silver||2004 Athens||800 m|
|Bronze||2008 Beijing||800 m|
|Competitor for Tunisia|
|Gold||2008 Beijing||1500 m freestyle|
On December 1, 2006, Oussama Mellouli beat Michael Phelps in the 400m IM at the US Open in West Lafayette. Mellouli clocked 4:15.61, ahead of Phelps with 4:18.32.
Soraya Haddad (born September 30, 1984) is an Algerian judoka.
|Competitor for Algeria|
|Bronze||2008 Beijing||Judo -52 kg|
She won the bronze medal in the Judo -52 kg weight class at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She was African champion three times: 2004, 2005 and 2008, and also a bronze medalist in the -48 kg category in the 2005 World Championships in Egypt. She was born in El-Kseur, Algeria.